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Exercise Science | Sports Sciences


Trista Olson


BACKGROUND: The use of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) may provide relief from delayed onset muscle soreness due to strenuous lower body exercise. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of 20 minutes of IPC following strenuous eccentric exercise on heart rate variability (HRV) and perceived soreness (PS). METHODS: 10 subjects (aged 21.2 +/- .4) who did not regularly participate in resistance training completed 2 trials, no less than 1 week apart. Each exercise session consisted of a 5-minute warmup followed by 3 sets of a superset of 5 Nordic hamstring curls (5 seconds eccentric) and isometric split squats (up to 1 minute each leg). All participants completed both the control and treatment sessions. For the IPC treatment session, participants wore IPC pants and sat on a treatment table with their backs against the wall at 90 degrees for 20 minutes while the pants administered 80 mmHg of pressure. HRV and PS were measured at baseline (morning of each session), 24hr and 48hr following each session. RESULTS: No significant differences were found between treatments for HRV over time (p = .33). However, significant differences were found between treatments for PS over time (p < .05). CONCLUSION: IPC use following strenuous eccentric exercise did not improve HRV, but did have significant positive effects on PS. A longer treatment may be needed to see results in HRV.